Student delays college plans in hope of operation
A Leaving Cert student has delayed his college plans in the hope of getting a procedure for scoliosis after being on an urgent waiting list for almost two years.
Pierce Joyce from Borris in Co Carlow was first diagnosed at the age of 16 and said the delay was "very frustrating".
Pierce (19), who is expecting his exam results this month, said that he had been offered a place in the prestigious Royal Irish Academy of Music.
But he has had to inform it that he must defer his place until 2017, in case he gets a date for a procedure before then.
Pierce says he hopes to become a composer after his studies.
"I play a good bit of piano and violin, particularly violin," he said. "Violin in particular can be hard to play, as I have to stand upright."
His mum Denise said she writes to the Health Minister regularly, but feels she has "hit a wall".
"I'm really at my wits' end. I don't know what to do next," she said. "We've been told that we are now number 53 on the urgent waiting list."
Denise, who has no private healthcare, also believes her son's curvature could now be 70 degrees. "It is having an effect on him, physically and emotionally," she added.